SELLING YOUR HOME
HOW TO AVOID THE 8 BIGGEST SELLING MISTAKES
MISTAKE #1 - WRONG PRICE
Experience shows the right price sells a house faster than any other factor. When the listing price is more than 5% over market value, the price alone discourages buyers. This is because overpriced homes scare away potential buyers who think they can't even afford to look. Buyers who do look at an over priced house know they can get more house for their money elsewhere.
MISTAKE #2 - AS-IS CONDITION
In today's competitive market buyers won't even consider a house that needs fixing up. In contrast a sparkling showcase home gets top dollar when it comes to the bottom line. What most buyers are looking for is an inviting home in move-in condition, one that looks as good as a model home. Buyers who are willing to make the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. Either way you save nothing by putting off fix ups and likely slows the sale of your home.
MISTAKE #3 - NO CURB APPEAL
Your house only gets one chance to make a good impression. That's why curb appeal is one of the most critical points in selling. Buyers are apt to fall in love at first glance - or not at all. If your home lacks curb appeal chances are the first impression will not be counteracted by the most perfect floor plan or most tasteful interior Spruce up the view of the house from the street including shrubs, lawn, shutters, windows, front door, and mailbox. Add potted flowers out front, a wreath on the door, brass outdoor lighting fixtures - what ever will enhance your home and say "buy me".
MISTAKE #4 - DREARY DUNGEON CELLS
A clean bright décor is what buyers want. Perhaps the best dollar for dollar investment for selling your home is fresh paint. Neutral colors are best. Next to fresh paint, new carpeting, replaced for either wear or color - makes a big difference. Elbow grease can be as effective as spending cash to brighten your home. Start by ruthlessly getting rid of the junk you've accumulated. Clean each room top to bottom. Dare to make your home look better than you've ever had it looking before. Focus on the three rooms most inspected - kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom. Forget those and you may as well forget the buyer too.
MISTAKE #5 - LAVISHLY OVER IMPROVING
While it is important to fix whatever needs fixing to get your home ready for sale, undertaking a major project can cost more money than you could recover from the sale. Spending too much on remodeling projects just drains money out of your pocket. If your improvements will push your home's value more than 20% over the average neighborhood house values, don't expect to recoup the entire cost. Some major projects, however, like replacing a roof should be undertaken if they are needed.
MISTAKE #6 - GENERAL CUSTER SYNDROME
Going it alone like General Custer could invite disaster. Without a professional advisor, you probably won't sell. Even if you do sell, surveys show sellers often net less from the sale than sellers who use a real estate agent. Selling a house is a team effort between you and us, your listing agents. You'll find that agents do a lot more than most people know - from bringing qualified buyers to keeping things on track to possession date.
MISTAKE #7 - NOT DISCLOSING DEFECTS
Make sure you disclose any latent (hidden) or material defects to prospective buyers. When you know there is a problem don't keep it to yourself and risk being a party to a misrepresentation lawsuit. Ask us, your real estate professionals, for a property disclosure statement. This will tell buyers about known defects or lack of them. If there is a defect, obtain a quote to get it fixed and either get it done or pass this information to a purchaser. Water seepage, foundation problems and leaky roof are the ones that are most critical to deal with.
MISTAKE #8 - PLAYING HARDBALL
When you put your home on the market it will attract waiting buyers looking for a home in your neighborhood. We will use the newness of your listing to attract showings and offers. Sometimes a seller will decide to play hardball assuming other offers will be forthcoming. This can backfire. Too often we see sellers take months to sell their home at a much lower price than offers they have rejected. No one wins if you approach negotiations with boxing gloves on. Treat every offer with respect. These are buyers who want to make your home their own. Do your best to negotiate the best terms possible, and rely on the advise of us, your agents.
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